Mohandas K. Gandhi, known as Mahatma ("great soul") Gandhi, is a revered figure worldwide for his nonviolent action to free India from British rule. His iconic status endures in the United States, through his influence on Martin Luther King, Jr., and in popular culture, including quotations, a blockbuster film, and interest in Hindu spirituality and practices. Readers will discover how Gandhi came to be a member of the exalted pantheon of men for the ages. They will follow him from his family's home in the provinces to an early arranged marriage, solo sojourn in England to prepare for a law career, and growth from a timid new barrister in South Africa to India's foremost negotiator with the British power structure. He is shown evolving from a loyal British subject to become the champion of Home Rule for India--often inciting illegal actions to get himself and his supporters arrested to further the cause, and risking his life with his famous hunger strikes. The narrative of Gandhi's life and contributions also illuminates Indian society and the caste system from the latter half of the 19th century up to World War II, including British colonial rule, racism in South Africa and India, and Hinduism. Controversial aspects of Gandhi's choices are covered as well. For example, he was largely an absentee husband and father. After siring four children, he took a vow of celibacy, but nevertheless formed attachments to several young, female Western devotees through the years. Ultimately, it was Gandhi's role as a compromiser who believed in Hindus and Muslims in a free, united India that led to his assassination.